Palau Blockchain Summit Highlights & Updates

5 min readSep 16, 2023

Metropolis recently co-hosted the Palau Blockchain Summit. It was a phenomenal event and opportunity for the Palauan community to engage with Web3 leaders including Vitalik Buterin on ideas for its future development as a new governance and sustainability hub. We were joined by key industry leaders in the carbon credit space, and had both conference and un-conference style discussions with experts and local leaders that sparked an exchange of ideas and fostered collaborations for new projects in Palau.

Metropolis CEO Elaine Wang with several summit organizers and H.E. President Surangel Whipps, Jr.

Any forum like this would be incomplete without a robust dialogue with the local community, and we were thrilled to see the Palau Blockchain Society (co-host among others like the Palau Ocean Foundation) take major steps in local blockchain education by hosting its first blockchain workshop together with the support of Cura.

Vitalik gave an inspiring talk highlighting Palau’s current innovative programs, while shedding light on future opportunities using ZK proof technology and encouraging future collaborations with network state style projects like Zuzalu. He reinforced the need for more blockchain-friendly hubs like Palau, and that these virtual jurisdictions will play a role in advancing the industry, while also potentially leading to physical re-location to these hubs for teams in the space.

H.E. President Surangel Whipps, Jr. shaking hands with Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin

While having such amazing leaders such as Vitalik on hand tends to capture the headlines, we wanted to share some other developments that people may have missed. Team members from KlimaDAO and Nomica zeroed in with the Ministry of the Environment about the practical application of blockchain technology in helping Palau to better support its environmentally friendly policies. It’s hard to put an exact monetary value on the ocean conservation efforts, but Nomica has begun to make proposals for how to better audit and support the real-world value of Palau’s nature conservation and these sorts of proposals will hopefully lead to fruitful developments for Palau and the sustainability market.

We will soon release an impact report, authored by Elaine Wang, who was pivotal in bringing together this diverse group of experts for what was a phenomenal three days of interactive dialogues, learning, and networking together in the beautiful island nation of Palau. All the hosts are grateful for the active participation of the Palauan community and its leaders, especially His Excellency President Whipps, Jr. who continually emphasized Palau’s commitment to support innovation together with industry partners. The Metropolis team is glad to have played a role in supporting Palau’s digital transformation and looks forward to seeing how the many projects and opportunities discussed throughout the summit evolve in the coming weeks and months.

Joey Zhong highlights blockchain tech behind TurtleX

In parallel, Metropolis was thrilled to announce its latest initiative, TurtleX, which focuses on the tokenization of real-world assets (RWA), including real estate developments and select ESG projects. Several of the initial projects listed will be located in Palau, offering an opportunity for international investors to participate in supporting tangible “on-the-ground” projects that will directly impact Palau, including projects in the sustainability sector. Offering a cross-border platform to finance small to medium size projects together with the participation of a large network of Web3 investors, helps expand the opportunity base for Palau, and we think can help set a precedent for more projects to be listed and receive financial support in Palau. The TurtleX technology lead Joey Zhong gave a presentation during the event and shared how fractionalization of RWA can lead to more investment and be managed in an open marketplace that encourages more active participation and a sense of ownership on a project-by-project basis, while giving local project developers in Palau access to an international pool of capital to jumpstart or further their development.

Finally, the Metropolis team began to formally share our proposed framework for a modern corporate registry, “X Corporations”:

We are proposing a global digital corporate registry system for the 21st century, capable of evolving to meet the changing requirements of businesses and institutions in the future. This system will streamline procedures, prioritize privacy protection, and establish the groundwork for future trusted transactions among global businesses.

X Corporations are based on leading legal frameworks, starting with Delaware C-Corporations. Future entities will be able to migrate to their existing documents with ease and take advantage of the benefits of a modern, digitally native offshore registry with minimal fees. With over 1 million offshore entities currently registered, we aspire to create a leading worldwide alternative for entrepreneurs and business owners.

  • Digitally native — Our vision for X Corporations entails the provision of self-service registration for corporate entities, allowing founders and business owners to accomplish entity registration in a matter of minutes or hours, as opposed to days or weeks. Digital incorporation affords entrepreneurs and business owners the ability to rapidly create entities, without incurring the added legal costs that come with other registries. Additionally, digital payments can be handled seamlessly through a single console.
  • Modular — X Corporations will support multiple entity types. The modular legal system allows for new classes of corporation types to be registered, based on user needs. Arbitration options are set in advance by jurisdictions, bringing clarity to founders and investors alike.
  • Law as Code approach — Law as code allows the re-purposing of proven legal frameworks by reference in a new jurisdiction, meaning instead of starting from scratch, we leverage the best in class legal structures and port them to a new environment, just as one would with code.
  • Coming soon — The X Corporations system will enable entrepreneurs and businesspeople worldwide to access high-quality digital incorporation with the click of a mouse. We aim for adoption of this standard by sovereign jurisdictions in 2023, and will expand entity types over time, beginning with Delaware C-Corporations.

We had an exciting few days at the summit and were thrilled to have so many participants from the New Governance and Sustainability sectors. Stay tuned for a number of other developments on the horizon from Metropolis on fronts related to digital banking initiatives and expanded economic freedom for individuals.

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